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[Archived] Undead – Magicka Dragon Knight PvP Build

[Archived] Undead – Magicka Dragon Knight PvP Build

[ARCHIVED]: This build has been archived, which means it is no longer being updated. However, this web-page will be left up for those who still would like to refer to it.

Build Written By: Dottz Gaming – PC NA

Role: Damage Dealer

Patch: Wolfhunter

Table of Contents

  1. Video
  2. Introduction
  3. Setup
    1. Gear
    2. Attributes
    3. Skills
    4. Vampire vs. Mortal
    5. Champion Points
    6. Other Important Info (Food, Mundus, Race, Potions, Passives)
  4. Tips & Misc
  5. Contact Info
  6. Update Log





Welcome to DottzGaming.com’s Magicka Dragon Knight DPS PvP Build, Undead, for the Elder Scrolls Online! This build is intended for PvP of all kinds: battlegrounds, Cyrodiil, dueling, and Imperial City, but it sees its greatest success in BGs/No-CP.  This build can be played in both CP and no-CP pvp without any changes to the build!

Anyone who has watched me stream ESO before knows one of my favorite PvP builds was my Dragon Spirit MagDK build – a light armor, dual wield build that had crazy tooltip damage, tons of empowerment, and enough survivability to stay alive to kill multiple opponents quickly. With the release of Summerset though, that playstyle was killed. Empower was changed to effect light attacks only, damage went up significantly making playing in light armor very difficult, and with the buffs to staves, dual wield became almost obsolete for magicka characters.  I spent the entirety of the Summerset patch trying to think of ways to keep that playstyle alive, but nothing I tried worked.

Around Wolfhunter’s release, I had another itch to try and make the playstyle work. But, I knew from trying a hundred different ways in Summerset that dual wield simply was not an option, so I finally decided that to make this work, an inferno staff would be necessary. The real challenge, though, was finding a way to be tanky enough to survive in light armor without sacrificing too much damage. I tried Troll King as suggested by a couple friends of mine, but I absolutely hated the way it played. I tried Bloodspawn, but it simply wasn’t enough defense.  After some brainstorming with people in discord and staring at the list of sets on my monitor, I saw a diamond in the rough that could make this oh so possible: Pirate Skeleton.  The set not only bolsters our resistances, but grants us Major Protection, reducing damage taken by 30%! Yes, we also are plagued by minor defile, but that can be counteracted by making our main defensive tool a shield.

Once I decided on Pirate skeleton, the rest of the pieces fell into place in my head with how to make this work. I spent hours testing this setup too, and let me tell you, it’s strong. We have almost 2900 unbuffed spell damage, and a 10.5k unbuffed Flame Lash tooltip.  This build works well in CP, and it works great in No-CP as well thanks to Deep Thoughts.

Of the three MagDK builds on my website, this build has the highest tooltips but is also the squishiest. The Unchained build is the tankiest, while the Burn build is kind of a mid ground between Unchained and this.

Keep in mind that PvP builds are very personal.  This is what worked for ME.  If you don’t like something about it, change it to fit your playstyle.



Magicka Dragon Knight PvP Build
Gear Slot Set Weight Trait Enchant Acquisition
Head An error occurred retrieving the set data Light Impenetrable Prismatic Vet Blackheart Haven
Shoulders An error occurred retrieving the set data Light Impenetrable Magicka Undaunted Chest
Gloves An error occurred retrieving the set data Light Impenetrable Prismatic Stonefalls or Guild Trader
Legs An error occurred retrieving the set data Medium Impenetrable Prismatic Crafted
Chest An error occurred retrieving the set data Heavy Impenetrable Prismatic Crafted
Belt An error occurred retrieving the set data Light Impenetrable Magicka Stonefalls or Guild Trader
Boots An error occurred retrieving the set data Light Impenetrable Magicka Crafted
Necklace An error occurred retrieving the set data Jewelry Arcane Spell Damage Stonefalls or Guild Trader
Ring An error occurred retrieving the set data Jewelry Arcane Spell Damage Stonefalls or Guild Trader
Ring An error occurred retrieving the set data Jewelry Arcane Spell Damage Stonefalls or Guild Trader
Weapon 1 An error occurred retrieving the set data Flame Staff Nirnhoned Poisons Crafted
Weapon 2 An error occurred retrieving the set data Restoration Staff Infused Spell Damage Crafted

Gear Explanation

  • Destruction Staff & Restoration Staff: For high damage MagDK builds post Summerset, inferno staff is simply the way to go. In my opinion, the days of dual wield are behind us. Don’t get me wrong, you can make it work, but any build you stick dual wield on would probably be stronger if you used a flame staff. We have strong light attack damage, an 8% increase to single target spells and access to Elemental Drain, giving us insane sustain and penetration. A restoration staff was chosen as our main form of defense since I wanted to use Healing Ward and Life Giver on my back bar. I tried with Coagulating Blood, but since we give ourselves minor defile, I think using a shield as our main defensive tool will be more beneficial.
  • Pirate Skeleton: The key to making this setup work, this grants us some resistances on the 1 piece which are very welcome, and has a chance on being damaged to turn into a skeleton to grant us major protection and minor defile for 12 seconds. Being able to just blanket reduce incoming damage by 30% for 12 seconds is absolutely huge. Combine that with our CP, resistances and incoming heals/shields, this gives us enough tankability to stay alive against multiple opponents to deal our damage.
  • Silks of the Sun: This is one of my favorite sets on non-coagulating blood using builds.  It grants us a ton of spell damage on our flame spells, has 100% uptime, gives more raw damage than Innate Axiom and has a line of health which is really beneficial for a light armor build.  This was used on my old Dragon Spirit build and I knew it would make it into this build as well.
  • Law of Julianos: This set may come as a surprise to some people, but I think it fits the 3rd set slot on this build perfectly.  It gives us a flat line of spell damage for the 5 piece (so it has 100% uptime), increasing the effectiveness of all of our spells (including our non-flame skills), but it also grants us 2 lines of spell critical.  The reason I valued that spell crit so much is because I am choosing to forgo Major Prophecy in the build to fit other skills I need, but I wanted to still have a respectable critical chance.  Thanks to Julianos, we are sitting at about 40% crit even without Major Prophecy, which is enough to make sure we crit and crit often. Burning Spellweave would be more raw damage in this slot, but that spell damage would not have 100% uptime and you’d have less crit, so it’s a bit of a give and take on deciding what you want. I prefer Julianos here, but BSW is an option for those who want to use it.


All points into Magicka.


undead skills dottzgaming

Click here to view in calculator.

Main Bar – Flame Staff: Flame Lash, Burning Embers, Fossilize/Shattering Rocks, Empowering Chains, Elemental Drain, Ferocious Leap

Back Bar – Restoration Staff: Degeneration, Deep Thoughts, Healing Ward, Volatile Armor, Reflective Plate, Life Giver

Ability Explanation

  1. Flame Lash: Bread and Butter spammable.  Deals great damage, and when power lash procs, you get a heal, a stun, and extra damage. Be prepared for people to whisper you telling you “all you do is spam whip” when you kill them.  All these flavors and they chose to be salty.
  2. Burning Embers: Great single target DoT that can be placed on multiple people that heals you based on damage done.  By boosting the damage of this ability, we give ourselves offensive based healing capabilities which is fantastic.
  3. Fossilize/Shattering Rocks: Amazing stun, I recommend this over Stone Giant any day. You can’t mess up with this ability, and it roots your opponent when the stun ends. You can also run Shattering Rocks for the heal if you dont think the immobilize is worth it.
  4. Empowering Chains: Putting this ability back on my bars made me so happy – it’s one of my favorite DK skills in the game. This pulls us to our enemy (which gives us a ton of mobility), empowers our next two light attacks (which is great now that we use an inferno staff) and it deals a respectable amount of damage since it’s on our front bar. This skill just makes it really difficult for people to escape and it allows you to pick and choose your targets on the battlefield with ease. I cant stress enough though: use this morph over unrelenting grip. The morph that pulls your target to you is considered a CC, while this one is not.  If you dont like chains at all though, feel free to put Choking Talons or Draw Essence in this slot.
  5. Elemental Drain: This ability – I can’t say enough good things about it.  Elemental Drain is the main reason I chose a destruction staff over a restoration staff.  Not only do we get major breach, but it also gives us a massive boost to our sustain for 0 cost.
  6. Ferocious Leap: Tons of damage, CC, a damage shield, and it looks really cool.  This ultimate is a staple in any Magicka DK PvP build.
  7. Degeneration: I’m using this over Structured Entropy because we have a main bar destruction staff, so since our light/heavy attacks will deal some decent damage, we have a chance to proc a decent heal. Also, I didn’t like how structured entropy made my execute range bigger.
  8. Deep Thoughts: This skill gives us so much extra sustain!  Channeling this skill regenerates your health, stamina and magicka until cancelled. So if you’re able to get out of LoS and channel this – even if only for a second – you can recover some much needed resources in a pinch. It’s also great for if your enemies are coming in waves, you can channel this once you deal with the first few and have your resources up for when more enemies arrive, instead of having to just wait and passively regenerate. If you do not have Summerset, I recommend Harness Magicka instead, since it grants a second shield option that also helps resource sustain.
  9. Healing Ward: This is the build’s main heal – a strong damage shield that also heals us at the end of its duration. Just a fantastic skill overall and one of the main reasons people choose to use a restoration staff in PvP. Since we have a strong magicka pool and a LOT of spell damage, this shield is really potent on this build.
  10. Volatile Armor: Gives us a lot of extra resistances and adds another DoT to the build.  This ability is really good for making us tanky.
  11. Reflective Plate: Well it finally has happened – I’ve decided to drop Vampirism. I still recommend it on my Unchained build since that build is tankier due to Bloodspawn and heavy armor, but for this build, I dont think it’s worth it. The buff to reflective plate to grant us 2 seconds of immobilization immunity was enough to make that skill a very viable replacement for mist form, and dropping vampirism makes us tankier (since we no longer take extra DBoS/Flame damage). We also are now able to reflect projectiles, making escaping from zergs and fighting magsorcs and magblades a bit easier. You can also reflect snipes from snipe spammers back at them, and boy is that satisfying.
  12. Life Giver: Our back bar ult and our “Oh crap” button if we need to stay alive.  It’s cheap, heals for a large amount, and casts Steadfast Ward, Blessing of Protection and Regeneration for free! If you have the skills morphed, it casts the morphed versions as well. I personally recommend Healing Ward (obviously), Blessing of Restoration and Rapid Regeneration. We use this over Light’s Champion since the build already has a source of major protection.

Vampire vs. Mortal

For this build I recommend playing a mortal.  With how much damage stam toons deal with DBoS and how prominent flame damage is right now, I feel that unless your build is tanky/runs mist form, vampirism just isnt worth it.

Champion Points



  • Blessed – 32
  • Elfborn –56
  • Spell Erosion – 36
  • Elemental Expert – 64
  • Master-at-Arms – 72


  • Warlord – 56
  • Sprinter – 25
  • Siphoner – 19
  • Arcanist – 75
  • Tenacity – 19
  • Tumbling – 66


  • Ironclad – 56
  • Resistant – 42
  • Thick Skinned – 56
  • Hardy – 43
  • Elemental Defender – 32
  • Bastion – 31

Other Important Info

Buff Food

Witchmother’s Potent Brew: Maximum Health, Magicka and Magicka Recovery


Mage – Increased Magicka


Dark Elf – Normally I list other alternative races, but with how well the Dunmer passives synergize with MagDK, I just think it’s by far the best race to choose.


Potions: Tri-Stat (Bugloss, Columbine and Mountain Flower)

Poisons: Sorcery-Draining Poison IX (Cornflower and Lady’s Smock)


Class (all), Light Armor (all), Heavy Armor (all except the ones that require you to wear 5 pieces), Medium Armor (all except the ones that require you to wear 5 pieces), Restoration Staff (all), Destruction Staff (all), Mages Guild (all except persuasive passive), Undaunted (all), Racial (all), Alchemy (Medicinal Use), Assault (all), Support (all except the first)

Tips & Misc.

  • Maintain your buffs to maximize the amount of tankiness and damage potential that the build offers.
  • Your offense is also your defense. If you need a BIG heal in a pinch and don’t have an ultimate or a potion up, re-apply Burning Embers.  The re-application of burning embers will cause you to be healed since the original DoT “ended”, and you’ll be maintaining the damage pressure on your opponent.
  • Elemental Drain maintenance is very important for damage and sustain.  Always make sure this ability is up on your opponent.
  • Stunning someone before you use an ultimate will cause them to take the full brunt of your assault, so use Fossilize in those key moments.
  • This build isn’t as tanky as a heavy armor SnB build, so you’re going to need to play a bit more carefully, especially when your Pirate Skeleton proc isnt active. Play around your healing ward and Pirate Skeleton proc’s for defense, and LoS when needed to use Deep Thoughts.
  • This build does a LOT of damage. You want to stay as offensive as possible in this build to always keep your opponent on the back foot – especially since our offensive options like Flame Lash and Burning Embers heal us as well.
  • Thanks to Empowering Chains, we are able to prevent people from kiting us and escaping. Dont over-commit for a kill though – you’re in light armor, you dont want you opponent to turn on you on a dime.
  • Dodge roll will be your main form of mitigation outside of shields. Dont block unless necessary, as it’ll rip through your stamina pool.


If you have any questions about the build, join our discord server and ask @Dottz about the build!

Update Log

8/21/2018 – Build created.